Our day started early yesterday. We were at the hospital at 5:00 am to check in, get settled in, and get ready for the busy day ahead. A couple hours later, I was sitting alone outside the operating wing while the doctors and nurses were prepping Amy for surgery. There is nothing worse than being left alone to think about all of your worries, waiting for what seems to be an eternity to go into a situation you have no control over. Will my baby be able to breath on her own, will she immediately go into cardiac arrest and be swept away in a mad furry with her life hanging in the balances. Pray, Dustin, pray, that is all you can do and it does the most good. As they called me back, I hoped for the best, prayed for the best, and honestly tried not to think about the worst.
The operating room was exactly as I remebered it two years ago and all those happy memories suddenly came back to me. Amy was a little emotional at first of course, so was I, but as the procedure went on she calmed down and did wonderfully. At 8:03 Harper decided to show her beautiful face to her mother and I with the help of what I think are some of the best doctors, nurses, and staff. She looked like a giant compared to her brothers two and a half years ago and she gave the sweetest sound my ears have ever heard, a cry that let us know that she was there and that she was alright. She weighed in at 5 pounds 3 ounces and is 18 1/2 inches long and her Apgar score was 9/9 which is really great. After a few pictures, Harper and I headed down to the NICU.
Amy stayed in recovery for about an hour and a half after the surgery. The nurses swung her by the NICU before she came to our room. Harper's stats and vitals looked great. Her color is great and she is just beautiful. We were not allowed to pick her up after she was admitted to the NICU because they do not want to get her excited due to her heart. While Amy was in recovery they put a cathider and an I V through her umbilical cord so that she can get her medicine and nutrients that she needs. All the grandparents were able to come in the NICU and see Harper and dote on the newest memeber of the family.
Before lunch, a technican from the cardiologist's office performed an echo cardiogram to see how Harper's heart looked. After lunch Amy was given permission to go see Harper and she walked all the way down to the elevators, which is a good stretch, and rode in a wheelchair to the NICU. The nurse was impressed with Amy's ablility to get up and walk as far as she did. Nemo, Grammy, and Grandpa got to come in and see Harper again and dote a little more and we got a few more pictures of Harper.
Just as we were getting ready to go back to our room the cardiologist stopped by to talk to us. After looking over the results form the echo cardiogram, he did not find any new problems, which was great news. The tricuspid valve, which was almost non-existant in our first visit with him, is now a normal size and is working properly. The hole between the two bottom chambers, which is called a VSD, is still there and is still pretty large. He seemed confident it was fixable though. All babies have what I guess you would call a by-pass or hole, called a PDA at birth which allows blood to pass between the top two chambers. After three or four days the PDA will close and the heart will start functioning as it would in any normal adult heart. The cardiologist wants to wait and see if there are any negative side effects after Harper's PDA closes, which will hopefully be Thursday or Friday. There is a slight chance that the PDA will not close and if so she will have to have surgery pretty soon to fix that problem. If the PDA does close and she does not have any negative side effects, Harper can go home with us very soon, maybe as early as next week. If there are some negative side effects, then Harper will have to have a minor surgery, which will place a small band on her artery that delivers the blood to her lungs to restrict the amount of blood flow to her lungs. Because of the VSD (the hole), too much blood (and pressure) will be going to the lungs and the small band will fix the problem temporarily until we can get the VSD fixed a few months down the road.
The cardiologist did say we could hold her and feed her and bathe her, which could not make one Momma I know any happier. Harper looks and acts like a normal baby and if I didn't have a team of doctors tell me any different, I would never guess anything is wrong. She seems good natured and is as sweet as she can be. I want to thank everyone out there for all the calls, texts, and visits and especially for the thoughts and prayers for my sweet girls today. They did without a doubt do wonderful work through our God who has been lovingly gracious to my family today. Thank you... thank you. And thank you Grammy, Nemo, Barbara, and Katelyn for watching the world's best big brothers today. I am so grateful for our family. I don't think anyone could have a more supportive and loving group of people to be there for these trying times.
Here are a few pictures from our day: